Moving From San Diego to Phoenix

How to Successfully Relocate From San Diego to Phoenix, AZ

Oct 17, 2022

Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown skyline
Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown skyline with Sentinel Peak at dusk. (Mountaintop “A” for “Arizona”)

As the most populous state capital in the country, and one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, Phoenix is a sunny, warm, and welcoming destination for snowbirds and permanent new residents alike. If you are moving from San Diego to Phoenix, or even just thinking about where your next home might be, here are some of the most important things you should know for a successful relocation. 

Pack your sunscreen, and rain boots 

Sunrise over Phoenix, AZ
Morning sunrise over Phoenix, Arizona, USA

San Diego is renowned for its ever-sunny, perfectly warm climate that rarely dips below 50 degrees and rarely exceeds 80 degrees. When you move to Phoenix, you will need to plan for a climate that is permanently set to summer mode. 

In this Arizona city, expect an average of 299 days of sun, twice that of sunny San Diego, and summer temperatures that can exceed 100 degrees on average. Winter evenings can be cool, dropping as low as 45 degrees, but this desert city still warms into the 60s and 70s even during the coldest winter months. As a result, you should plan to pack plenty of sunscreen, summer clothes, and stylish hats to keep out the heat while you enjoy the Phoenix outdoors. 

Another aspect of weather in this city you should plan for is monsoon season. Running from June through September, this is the desert’s rainy part of the year and is often characterized by intense thunderstorms and flash flooding. An important element in providing the desert with enough water for the year, this season will also require appropriate preparation in the form of rain boots and coats to help you navigate the intense rain. 

Lower your housing budget

Sunset at Dobbins lookout South Mountain Park in Phoenix Arizona
Sunset at Dobbins lookout South Mountain Park in Phoenix Arizona

Thanks to its popularity, the cost of living in Phoenix is higher than the national average by about 9 percent. However, when compared to the expenses associated with life in San Diego, Phoenix is downright affordable. Phoenix is more than 50 percent cheaper than San Diego, with much lower expenses associated with everything from groceries to transportation. 

However, the one place where the cost of living difference is most noticeable is in the housing market. Housing in this desert city is 160 percent cheaper than housing in San Diego. Housing in that California city sits at median cost of $899.9K, while in Phoenix, the median home price is about $470K.

What does that mean when you are moving from San Diego to Phoenix? That you can budget less money for more housing and still have money left over for the fun, relaxation, and entertainment that overflow in this beautiful desert city. 

Plan to explore the Sonoran Desert

People, hiking, & walking trails in Red Rock Country, AZ
Blue Skies & white clouds in Red Rock Country near Sedona, Arizona. Panoramic vistas. People, hiking, & walking trails. Beautiful sunrises & sunsets. Unsurpassed Southwestern landscape colors.

Phoenix sits in the Sonoran Desert, a stunning piece of natural beauty that has endless mountains, valleys, and features to enjoy. This is no flat, boring, sea of sand. When moving from San Diego to Phoenix, you can expect to spend much of your time in this desert’s 100,000 square miles that are flush with green after the springtime rains, and always offers cacti, mountain hikes, stunning sunsets, and sparkling oases. 

Try any of these desert attractions to learn more about this unique and unforgettable landscape: 

  • Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
  • Phoenix Mountains Preserve
  • Lost Dutchman State Park
  • Lake Pleasant Regional Park
  • Endless hiking trails
  • Dobbins Lookout
  • And so much more

Needless to say, outdoor activities abound in this desert city. Plan to throw on sunscreen and enjoy some outdoor time every day, surrounded by the natural desert beauty, and with access to almost any outdoor activity you prefer (Including a lot of golf). 

Bring your car

Saguaros at Sunset in Sonoran Desert near Phoenix
Saguaros at Sunset in Sonoran Desert near Phoenix.

It is a bit of a drive when moving from San Diego to Phoenix, but you can still make it in less than 6 hours, and you will be happy you did. Phoenix is not a walkable city, and while it has public transportation, services are too spread out to make it a practical option for everyday use. That means you will need a vehicle to do everything from commute to work to drive downtown for the nightlife.

While driving is a necessity, being stuck in traffic is not. The city’s roads are carefully planned, and high-occupancy lanes are available throughout much of the city. You can bring your car with you on your move and use it to enjoy relatively stress-free, convenient commutes throughout any part of the city or the greater metropolitan area. 

Establish a new job in a thriving economy

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona and Highway
Downtown Phoenix, Arizona and Highway

Moving from San Diego to Phoenix does not mean giving up on profitable employment. Phoenix has a thriving economy and job market, with an estimated 700,000 jobs to be added by 2030. focused primarily in the technology and tourism industries. Other industries expected to grow fastest in the next decade include education, healthcare services, and professional and business services. That means you can probably find a high-paying job in your preferred field, or even spread your wings and discover a new career in your new city. 

Find a reliable mover 

While Phoenix has many employment and recreation opportunities to offer, moving from San Diego to Phoenix first requires that you find a mover you can depend on. With numerous moving scams out there, doing your research to find an honest professional to help with your move is a must. 

Moving scams can get your relocation to Phoenix off to a very expensive and stressful start. The most damaging scams involve moving brokers who undercut the competition with quotes that are thousands of dollars lower. They then sell your moving job to actual movers. When these movers show up (often late, in order to make it difficult to find another mover within your timeline), they demand additional money to pack up the truck. 

Even worse, chances are that you will wait weeks to get your belongings after they leave. Sometimes, you may have to pay even more money to guarantee delivery of belongings that are often broken or damaged. Sometimes, the movers abandon your belongings entirely. 

These scams can cost you thousands of dollars above and beyond what you budgeted, leave you without your belongings for weeks, and add immeasurable stress to a time that should be an exciting start to a new adventure. 

In order to avoid these troubling scams, make sure you take the following precautions

  • Get at least 3 in-house moving quotes.
  • Make sure your chosen mover has a physical address. 
  • Get a moving estimate based on weight, not cubic feet. 
  • Check the mover’s complaint history and grade with BBB.
  • Make sure the truck on moving day is branded. 
  • Buy moving insurance.
  • Choose a mover who has a proven track record of success. 
  • Ask for word-of-mouth recommendations from people who have enjoyed a successful move. 
  • Read every detail of your contract before signing. 
  • Refuse any mover who requires a down payment on your move. 
  • Avoid using a moving broker.

At Oakley Relocation, honest, seamless relocation services have been our way of operating since 2008. As a certified, women-owned full-service moving and storage company with the experience to deliver on our promises, we offer in-house estimates, a sterling record, hundreds of positive references, and no required down payments. Contact us today for a quote you can trust from premier movers, who will treat your move as if it were for our own family.

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